Summary: A well-known and regarded attorney in the Maryland area was charged with soliciting sex from a minor.
Michael D. Dobbs, 57, has been a criminal defense attorney in Maryland for a long time. He is well known and well-liked in the community making his latest arrest even more shocking to those that know him. Dobbs was arrested and charged with sexual solicitation of a minor that he met on the Internet and communicated with via text messages.
Rockville defense attorney David Martella said, “In 25 years, I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about Mike. I think very highly of him as a lawyer and a human being. I hope there is an explanation for the allegations.”
Dobbs is from Montgomery County and received his J.D. from the University of Maryland in 1984. He then worked as a prosecutor for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. He currently deals with a variety of practice areas, including criminal defense, personal injury, and workers’ compensation.
The charges were filed in Montgomery County District Court alleging that Dobbs was communicating with who he assumed was a 15-year-old boy. He was released on $100,000 bond after a hearing, which was held in the courthouse just two blocks from his law office. Dobbs was represented by Alex Cordier, who said, “I look forward to Mike being exonerated. I believe the allegations are wildly different than the full story.” Cordier stressed during the hearing that Dobbs has no criminal record and was very cooperative with the police after his arrest. Cordier noted, “Although the charges are quite serious, the silver lining in all of this is there is not a child really involved.”
Dobbs was caught in a typical sting operation where detectives posted a message to various websites frequented by those looking for sexual encounters. Once someone responses to their post with text messages and emails exchanged, the undercover detectives then inform the person that they are younger than 16. They arrange a meeting and then when the suspect arrives, they are quickly apprehended by police. Nearly two months ago, Dobbs responded to the posted message “young wm seeking older.” The fact that Dobbs fell for the sting technique baffles other lawyers that know Dobbs. As someone who knows the tactics that police use, he should have known better. Martella added, “When you deal with people in legal trouble, you quickly become aware of all the efforts of law enforcement out there.”
In the text messages between Dobbs and who he thought was a young boy named “Brandon,” he mentioned that he was “an attorney.” The detective informed Dobbs, aka Mark RockvilleGuy, “Are you cool with me being 15. I’m almost 16.” Apparently Dobbs was okay with the boy being a minor because the emails and texts continued. Using Dobbs phone number, they were able to trace it to his name and he provided a photo of his face in a message, which detectives matched to Dobb’s photo in Motor Vehicle Administration records. A meeting was then arranged.
The plan was for Dobbs to meet the boy, Brandon in a parking lot and then go to Brandon’s house. Undercover officers staked out the parking lot well before Dobbs would be arriving. A Kia Optima with Dobbs inside drove into the lot, made a few loops around and then parked. Three officers closed in on the car and took Dobbs into custody. An iPhone was found in the car so the detective that had been messaging Dobbs, called the number. The iPhone rang in response to the phone call.
Dobbs admits to having communicated with Brandon via text and email.
Do you think Dobbs has a reasonable explanation? Tell us in the comments below?
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